Over the last five years, content has become a cornerstone of successful digital marketing strategies for businesses across industries, for a few simple and compelling reasons, which we’ll discuss below. For professional service firms and organizations, digital content can often be a powerful tool for accomplishing branding and marketing goals, but it’s important to know that it isn’t a cure-all strategy and in some cases, it may not be right for the firm. The first step in any sound content strategy development is to determine whether or not content marketing is right for your business at all. In this post, we’ll help you analyze the factors that will help you make your decision.
First, let’s talk about what content is and why it’s involved in marketing at all. Content is generally defined as information that is useful and valuable to a specific audience. It can take the form of written information, informative videos, infographics, photography, or speaking engagements. Content marketing is the process of using that information to attract audience members, retain them, and ultimately to drive a particular action. It is a powerful marketing tool because it creates a strong sense of trust between you and your audience, and can help establish you as a reputable expert in your field. Content marketing can be the first step in presenting your expertise and offering value to your audience, which greatly increases the chances of them becoming qualified leads and eventual customers.
Here are some of the benefits of integrating content marketing into your professional service firm’s marketing strategy:
- Increases search engine rankings
- Increases traffic to your website
- Builds your list of email contacts
- Helps establish your firm as an authority in your industry
- Builds trust and credibility between you and your target audience
- Positions your firm as an expert in your field
Despite those considerable benefits, content marketing cannot deliver a worthwhile return on investment unless your professional service business is ready to fully embrace it and take the steps required to make it work. For content marketing to have any of the impacts above, it must be constantly nurtured and developed – it is not a “set it and leave it” thing! Here are some ofthe challenges to successful content marketing that professional service businesses often face:
- Defining a specific client type to focus on
- Defining a realistic, actionable content creation plan
- Defining internal responsibility for content creation and implementation
- Determining SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals for content performance
- Finding the time and resources to produce, edit, and optimize content
- Developing an effective amplification strategy to make the most of your content
There are, of course, solutions to each of the challenges listed above, and as professional services marketing experts, we can help you tackle each one.
Whether or not content marketing is right for your business ultimately comes down to one question: do you know and thoroughly understand the type of customer your business exists to serve, and do you have knowledge or resources that would be useful to them as they seek answers to their problems? If the answer is yes (and if you or your colleagues are trained in a professional service, then the answer is almost certainly yes!), then with the right planning, resources, and execution, content marketing can work for you.
Let’s have a conversation about how to make content marketing a successful strategy for your firm. Take the first step by downloading your free e-book, “Building a professional service brand that stands out.”